The news about the unemployment rate shouldn’t impact an appeal, but it does. In case you missed it, supposedly the unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, which is the lowest rate in nearly 18 years.
For many of my Clients, this does nothing to help with an appeal. In fact, it can make matters even worse.
In my experience, every applicant should be on guard for trick questions that ultimately impact their eligibility for unemployment benefits.
Below, I will address these tricks and the pink elephant.
Unemployment Rate and Your Appeal
The unemployment rate being reported has nothing to do with your appeal. The term “unemployed” is an economic principle that means a person wants a job, but they do not a job. People who do not want a job are not considered unemployed.
When the rate of unemployed workers gets to high, our government (Minnesota and Federal) have the opportunity to extend benefits.
In other words, instead of getting unemployment for 26 weeks, people can sometimes receive benefits for 52 weeks (or more). If you think back, this occurred as recent as 2007-2009.
Unfortunately, the applicants who received extended benefits are still appealing overpayment issues today.
Unemployment Rate and Stress
For many of my Clients, being unemployed is very stressful. Likely, you can relate.
Hearing about others having a job or seeing news reports how low the unemployment rate has been can be infuriating and defeating.
Luckily, statistics and math encourage us to take a deep breath. Yes, being unemployed stinks. But, a new job or a job to help us land a more ideal job is right around the corner.
All to often, I see folks looking for the perfect job when really they should be seeking a same or similar job that buys more time. If this is confusing, I encourage you to reach out for help.
Now, lets address the pink elephant our unemployment office refuses to openly address.
Every time we talk with a representative at the unemployment office (phone person, work force center, judge, etc.), applicants risk their benefits.
Minnesota has a long list of eligibility conditions. Many of these conditions are found at Minnesota rule 268.085.
In my experience, knowing the unemployment rate is low can make us feel like a job is inevitable or as soon as I apply, I will find a job.
Because failing to apply for a job can be detrimental to one’s eligibility, questions related to an appeal can turn into a trick.
For example, imagine talking with the unemployment office and being asked about a job search, which eventually leads to “how many jobs have you applied for?”.
Before applicants answer this or other questions embedded in an online application, I like the idea of being prepared.